Hibiki 12 Year Old Blended Japanese Whisky
Available in Asia, Europe, and the U.S.
What the Distillery Says:
Malt whiskies matured 12 years or longer are perfectly matched with mellow grain whiskies of the same age to create this HIBIKI offering. Also included is some whisky from casks formerly used in long-term aging of Japanese plum liqueur, which helps bring out the sweet floral notes on the nose and palate that Suntory whisky is known for. Adding venerable malt aged more than 30 years further brings out the bouquet and adds body to the palate. At a turning point marking the 20th anniversary of HIBIKI, this new offering brings together all of Suntory’s whisky making expertise and blending craftsmanship for whisky enthusiasts around the world.
Brilliant amber in color. A fruity bouquet, followed by sweet honey and custard cream. On the palate, a soft and mellow sweetness makes this a whisky one can also enjoy straight. A long finish, with subtle tartness and a spicy bouquet.
What Richard Says:
Nose: Perfume and wild flowers with notes of ripe plums and nectarines. Water opens up the nose. I don’t get anything new but everything is more pronounced.
Palate: Not as sweet on the palate as the nose would suggest. There aren’t any flavors that jump out but instead all flow together seamlessly. Not a dram for water, it flattens it out.
Finish: The finish is velvety and leave only hints of the palate. Very clean. Water make the finish all but disappear.
Comments: This is what a blend should taste like. Everything marries very well and plays off each other. This is a very balanced and easy to drink whisky. It’s dangerously easy to drink. This is the kind of whisky you could got through half a bottle and not even realize it until you tried to stand up. I don’t have as much experience with Japanese blends but if they come like this then bring on more!
Rating: Stands out
What Matt Says:
Nose: Bubblegum (more like the flavored fluoride at the dentist’s office than the real thing) and grain spirit (like moonshine).
Palate: Sweet without being too caramel-like, bubbly and viscous, wickedly smooth. So balanced that individual flavors are hard to define.
Finish: Like oiled silk.
Comments: Water does nothing for or against this whisky. I love the plum wine influence. Redefines smooth. Plus, the packaging is beautiful. I’m with Richard, more Japanese blends please.
Rating: Stands Out
Overall Rating: Stands Out